Photo Manipulation in Photoshop: Introduction to Creating Surreal Imagery

Felicia Simion, Photographer and digital artist

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6 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Trailer

      0:41
    • 2. Background and environment

      2:44
    • 3. Figure

      2:19
    • 4. Levitation and texture

      5:42
    • 5. Light and color

      3:14
    • 6. Final touches

      2:46

Project Description

Manipulate photographs to create a surreal image

Background and Environment

  1. Go out and explore

    Look for open areas like a park, forest or field for your photoshoot location.

  2. Choose a beautiful place

    This could be somewhere by the water, or inside a forest where the light pierces through the trees.

  3. Test the environmental light

    Select the angle you'll be taking your photo from, considering light. 

Figure

  1. Find an object for the model to pose with

    A small chair or a rock that the model can lean upon is ideal as a prop.

  2. Arrange your model's pose

    Adjust your model's pose to suggest they are flying in the scene.

  3. Find the model's equilibrium

    The model needs to have a point of equilibrium with the prop and the ground during the shoot. It is helpful to get a third set of hands to assist with this.

Levitation and Texture

  1. Remove unnecessary elements

    Relieve the flying gesture by using selection tools, cutting tools and the history brush.

  2. Find a texture

    Choose a weather element like snow, rain or fog that will set the mood and impact of your photo-manipulation. 

  3. Blend your texture in Photoshop

    Add the texture in Photoshop so that it looks suitable with the photo, and select the perfect blending mode. 

Light and Color

  1. Work with Adjustments in Photoshop

    We'll use image options such as color balance, selective color, curves, gradients and so on.

Final Touches

  1. Analyze the composition

    Make sure all of your elements are in place and blend in with the composition perfectly. 

  2. Make your final adjustments

    Make final adjustments to your photo paying special attention to contrast and light/dark balance.

  3. Share your work

    Enjoy what you have created!

Additional Resources

  • Bokeh&Snow textures+4 home-made curves

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